Meteor Shower: 5 Things to Know Before the Night of Perseids

General News
Meteor shower expected Wednesday and Thursday
Meteor shower expected Wednesday and Thursday
Wednesday and Thursday will be the best nights to view the meteor shower

On the night of Wednesday to Thursday, the shooting stars will parade in the sky …

One month after 14-July, a new fireworks display will light up the sky.  The traditional meteor shower of August will be at its peak on the night of Wednesday to Thursday and looks impressive. To understand everything and to enjoy it, here are 5 points to help.

The Perseids, what is it?

These are small particles from the comet Swift-Tuttle , which cross the Earth’s orbit every summer. “On returning to our world, the Perseids – small cometary clots – bump into the molecules of the atmosphere and this shock, extremely violent, produces light,” told AFP Jeremiah Vaubaillon, an astronomer at the Observatory Paris: “Every clot becomes a shooting star.”

When to See?

“The peak of activity is expected at 8.40pm French time,” tells Philippe Henarejos, the editor of Sky and Space .  Too soon for France, so even if a small chance that this spike comes a little later, when it begins to get dark. “The Perseids are not homogeneous, it is like a vein that we would cross the veins illustrates Philippe Henarejos. It is hoped that this peak of activity lasts longer, or be shifted in time. “Another peak is expected on Thursday night.  Between the two, the shooting stars will be there, all the more visible if the is Moon absent, so that it will not disrupt their observation.


Flee light pollution, sit back and watch (with the naked eye, no need of instruments) the northeastern horizon. It is between the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia that shooting stars will be the most numerous.

What will we see?

“The night promises to be good, with a rate of around 100,” said Philippe Henarejos.Potentially, we can therefore see a shooting star per minute”. And what are they like, these shooting stars? “The Perseids are often fleeting and brief, describes Philippe Henarejos, but there will still bright and beautiful quite spectacular cars. ”

And if I’m busy that night?

The shooting stars this year season lasts from July 17 to August 24. Although the peak of activity takes place in the night from Wednesday to Thursday,  so there will remain ten days to observe the sky.  Otherwise, you will have to wait until next year. This dust cloud crossed by the Earth is huge and contains billions and billions of particles released by the comet. “This show will last for years, it is a real reservoir of stars shooting” enthused to AFP Plantureux Clement, the French Astronomy Association.

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